The world for people of remote areas in the northern district, Panchagarh, has changed in just 15 years. They are now enjoying cashless services, which makes life much easier. People living in remote areas of Panchagarh are utilising the opportunities of ‘Digital Bangladesh’, a campaign initiated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2009. The success of transforming Bangladesh into ‘Digital Bangladesh’ has created the solid ground to move towards a ‘Smart Bangladesh’, which was announced by the Prime Minister recently. The government has set four bases — smart citizens, smart economy, smart government and smart society — to make the country 'Smart Bangladesh'. Read:Daily transaction of MFS crosses Tk3200 crore: BB The aim: every citizen will be skilled in using technology, economic activities will run through using technology, and the government will be technologically smart. What was unthinkable before 2009 is now the reality for people in remote Panchagarh, as they are getting over 20 important services at home without any hassle from union parishads. While visiting the Panchagarh Sadar Union Parishad complex, local businessman Abdullah Al Faruque, who is a beneficiary, said that he has received his required trade license by just providing his NID number. “This cashless system is facilitating any person to get his/her desired document by just providing the NID number to the system as the officials can easily verify all relevant information,” he said. The concerned official provided him the trade license within 2-3 minutes after matching the required information from his NID. Read: MFS transactions record breached again in April; number of accounts now 26.5 crore “We’ve eliminated waste of time and money which was unavoidable in the past,” Faruque said. This transformation began more than 14 years back when the Prime Minister envisioned advancing the country into a developed one by 2041. Taking advantage of the Digital Bangladesh initiative, Panchagarh district administration tookthe measures to make their services technology dependent. Digital transactions are now being used to provide services, which have reduced time, cost and travel difficulties alongside offering better services. Due to initiatives of the Awami League government, these necessary services are being availed quickly and MFS (mobile financial service) has also made it easier. As a result, revenues of the government have increased, the hassles have been reduced, and the desired service has become available. Read more: BFIU suspends cash out from 230 MFS accounts over transactions through hundi Latifa Banu, another beneficiary, said that she has been receiving maternity allowance over last two years and collecting the allowance from the UP for one-and-a-half years. “Earlier, I had to go to different shops, but now, I am just providing my fingerprint and receiving my allowance easily from the UP centre,” she said. Halima Begum, who came to Panchagarh Sadar Union Parishad to collect the citizenship certificate, said that it was not so easy before. She mentioned that after obtaining a certificate from the Union Parishad, there was the trouble of getting signatures on it. A person had to come to collect his/her certificate. “Now, if you apply with the number of the NID card, the signed certificate will be issued. I like this system,” she said. Read more: Budget will help to build Smart Bangladesh: Speakers Panchagarh entered the cashless era when this service was first introduced in the Tirnoihat union of Tetulia. With this, the union parishad of the upazila was on its way to become ‘Smart Bangladesh’. Cashless services were later introduced to other UPs. The beneficiaries can avail 20 services easily from there. People are now getting the services by visiting the uniontax.gov.bd website from the comfort of their homes. Deputy Commissioner Md. Jahurul Islam said that over 70,000 people of 43 union parishads and three municipalities in the district have received services from uniontax.gov.bd and pouroseba.gov.bd platforms. An entrepreneur of Union Digital Center said that online service was launched experimentally in Tetulia upazila in the fiscal year 2019-20, but on January 6 this year, the service started in Tirnoihat UP of Tetulia upazila through the inauguration of cashless service. Before introducing the platform, any service seeker had to visit the union parishad three times, requiring 7-15 days, on average. But, in the digital and cashless system, he/she doesn’t even need to visit UP. Read more: Budget is inconsistent with goals of Smart Bangladesh: Speakers The deputy commissioner said that after the introduction of the Digital Union Cashless Service, revenue is being deposited directly into the UP’s bank account. He said the local government system is strengthened through cashless services and this is another step towards the making of ‘Smart Bangladesh’.
Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (March 19, 2023) asked law enforcement agencies to take action against cybercrime and the trend of teen gangs. “We’ll have to monitor cybercrimes and take action accordingly. RAB and intelligence agencies will have to play a decisive role in this regard,” she said. The prime minister was speaking at the 19th founding anniversary of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) at the force’s headquarters in Dhaka’s Kurmitola. Saying that her government developed the country as “Digital Bangladesh”, the PM said cybercrimes have increased as the scope of digitization expanded. Also Read: PM meets UK’s cross-party delegation, discusses Rohingya Sheikh Hasina said the aim of Digital Bangladesh is to ensure the wellbeing of the people, not to cause distress. She said there are some anti-state forces. They see “nothing, no matter how much advancement Bangladesh achieves.” There is another section of people who “defame Bangladesh to foreigners and secure financial or other benefits through this,” the PM said. Talking about the US sanction imposed on RAB officials, the premier asked RAB personnel not to be upset at what others said about them but rather move ahead resolutely. “This is our country that was freed through the sacrifice of blood… We know who does what and we’ll assess accordingly. We have to work with confidence,” she said. Read More: Man killed in RAB gunfire for 'protesting neighbour's arrest,' family says “We will have to identify those who carry out propaganda and defame Bangladesh. We will have to find out why they are doing it and their purpose,” she added. The PM said Bangladeshis can judge who has done good or bad. “If anyone commits an offense, we must speak about it. Don’t be upset at what some people are saying. You will have to move ahead with a sense of self-esteem and confidence,” she said. About the rising trend of teen gangs, Sheikh Hasina said parents, teachers and public representatives alongside law enforcers must take responsibility to put an end to the culture of teen gangs. “The teen gangs must be stopped,” she said. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and RAB Director General Additional IGP M Khurshid Hossain also spoke at the programme. Read More: 8 arrested while trying to rob a RAB vehicle in Narayanganj: RAB
Foodpanda has won this national Digital Bangladesh Award in the institutional category for its contribution in facilitating the digital transformation of the country and enabling income opportunities for thousands of youths. The award was handed over to Syeda Ambareen Reza, Co-founder and MD and Zubair B A Siddiky, Co-founder and CEO of foodpanda Bangladesh by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently at “Digital Bangladesh Award 2022” event at BICC, which was well attended by ministers, parliament members, senior secretaries and industry leaders. Read more: Foodpanda launches 'pandapro' subscription in Bangladesh The event was chaired by State Minister of Information and Communication Technology Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak. The e-commerce company started its journey in Bangladesh in 2013 and has been successful in creating a strong digital ecosystem with many stakeholders. Foodpanda is the leading marketplace that connects restaurants and shops with customers and delivery partners. It enables SME and large restaurant partners, shops and home chefs to have a digital footprint without the risks of high investments, said a press release. The restaurant industry has flourished in the last seven years, bolstered by the marketplace that the platform has cultivated. Customers are benefited by having food, groceries, medicine and more delivered right to their doorsteps within 30 minutes. Freelance rider partners are presented with an opportunity to earn a livelihood in a flexible way along with access to key benefits such as insurance, training, loan and online education. With a presence in 64 districts across the country, foodpanda has expanded business units and created over one million direct and indirect earning opportunities in the tech-based delivery ecosystem. Read more: Foodpanda offers special discount on corporate vouchers Alongside, foodpanda, over the years, has also taken numerous initiatives to foster the growth of women entrepreneurs. The Homechef program has more than 3000 home chefs currently active on the platform, of which 70 percent are women. Beside working on seven SDG goals, the platform has taken many initiatives to minimize food wastage in partnership with several NGOs including Bidyanondo Foundation. Ambareen Reza, Co-founder and MD and Zubair B A Siddiky, Co-founder and CEO of foodpanda Bangladesh thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, and the organizers for recognising the company’s efforts to facilitate digital inclusion and empowering the youth and SMEs. Upon winning the award, Co-founder and CEO, Zubair B A Siddiky said, “Foodpanda is at the forefront of building a digital ecosystem. We are committed to continue our contributions in building a digitally inclusive Bangladesh while empowering the youth with income opportunities and supporting the digitization of restaurants, shops, SMEs and home chefs with a marketplace to access millions of customers. I believe this industry holds immense possibility to become a significant part of the country’s continuous economic growth and build a ‘Smart Bangladesh’ by 2041.”
Digital Bangladesh is a resounding success and Nagad, a mobile financial service of Bangladesh Postal Department, is a vivid example of that success, Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar has said. “Bangladesh is an agriculture-dependent country, but many are now envious of its rapid technological development. One of the major positive outcomes of digitalisation is that we have almost moved towards a cashless society,” the minister told journalists at a programme marking Digital Bangladesh Day-2022 in Daak Bhaban, on Monday. Read more: FY22: Nagad 3rd highest VAT-paying company in service category, says NBR “We can now make all kinds of financial transactions, including cash-out and cash-in and shopping, through mobile financial services,” Jabbar said, adding that Nagad is playing a big role in this regard. Starting off in 2019, Nagad has now become one of the most popular MFS in the country, he noted. Bangladesh Posts and Telecommunications Division organised a “Digital Postal Service Exhibition” to celebrate Digital Bangladesh Day on Tuesday. It also held a meeting with Posts and Telecommunications Secretary Md Khalilur Rahman in the chair. Presenting a keynote, Prof Dr Mohammad Mahfuzul Islam, vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Digital University, said, “The most digitalisation has happened in Bangladesh’s financial sector. Mobile financial service providers in particular have revolutionised this field. We can mention the name of Nagad as an example.” Read more: Nagad wins Mastercard Excellence Award 2022 in two categories Posts and Telecommunications Secretary Md Khalilur Rahman shared his experience about Digital Bangladesh with everyone and urged all to adapt to the progress. Dr Md Rafiqul Matin, managing Director of Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd, and Brigadier General Md Nasim Parvej, director general of Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, and Shyam Sunder Sikder, chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, also spoke on the occasion. Md Harunur Rashid, director general of the Postal Department, gave the welcome address. There were eight stalls at the Postal Department’s exhibition. The visitors were appraised of different digital services, such as electronic money transfer service, postal cash card, online postal life insurance, digital land services, and mobile financial service of Nagad, etc. Mustafa Jabbar and other guests visited these stalls. Guests came to Nagad’s stall and enquired about cash-out, cash-in and other services. They also learned about how to buy products using the Nagad wallet. Nagad officials gave the guests an idea of how much money is being saved every year as a result of the distribution of various government allowances through Nagad.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (December 12, 2022) said that public universities in Bangladesh lagged behind in adapting to virtual or online class when the government tried to introduce it during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Let me share something regrettable. Our public universities were a bit slow in using the digital system in education during the pandemic period. They were far behind (compared to private universities),” she said. The Prime Minister said this while attending the inaugural programme of Digital Bangladesh Day 2022. ICT Division organised the programme at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) with the theme ‘Advanced Technology Inclusive Development’. Read more: From ‘Digital Bangladesh’ to ‘Smart Bangladesh’ by 2041, PM announces Sheikh Hasina said that during the pandemic, public universities expressed reluctance to go for online classes. “Private universities started that (online classes) quickly. But our public universities (did not), even Dhaka University (did not start promptly),” she said. She said that after repeated requests, public universities of the country introduced online classes. “That was the reality. When a system is beneficial to us, why should we not adopt that?” – she questioned. Read more: $230bn needed: PM seeks support from global partners to implement climate adaptation plan If there were no ‘Digital Bangladesh’, what would have happened during the Covid-19 pandemic, she wondered. “Everything would come to a standstill.” The Prime Minister also elaborated on her government’s ICT-friendly initiatives and Vision 2041 to establish Smart Bangladesh. She mentioned that successful implementation of Digital Bangladesh made it possible for the government to keep the economy, education and other activities running properly during the pandemic. Regarding the economic situation worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war, sanctions and counter-sanctions, Sheikh Hasina said that prices of essentials have increased globally. Read More: Huawei ICT Incubator announces top 6 startups from Bangladesh “Developed countries are facing a volatile situation. Even developed countries like Great Britain have declared recession. By the grace of Allah, we are still able to run our economic wheel,” she said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (December 12, 2022) announced the “Smart Bangladesh” by 2041 goal. “We will make Bangladesh a developed country by 2041, and that Bangladesh will be Smart Bangladesh,” she said. The PM made the announcement while attending the inaugural programme of ‘Digital Bangladesh Day 2022’ – giving away prizes among winners of an online quiz competition. The ICT Division arranged the programme at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) with the theme ‘Advanced Technology Inclusive Development’. Read more: We are promoting grassroots arts and culture: PM Hasina Sheikh Hasina said that from Digital Bangladesh, the country will be transformed into Smart Bangladesh. She also said that the government has set four bases to realise the Smart Bangladesh goal. These are: Smart Citizen, Smart Economy, Smart Government and Smart Society. Sheikh Hasina said that the government also formulated the Delta Plan 2100 to outline the development path of the country apart from Vision 2041. The Prime Minister hoped that the youths will take the country forward and will groom themselves as smart citizens to become soldiers for the 2041 goal. Read more: Next general election to be held first week of 2024: PM Hasina announces at Cox’s Bazar rally State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Post, Telecommunication and ICT Ministry Chairman AKM RahmatUllah, and ICT Division Senior Secretary NM Zeaul Alam also spoke at the programme.
The ‘Digital Haat 2022’, an online marketplace for buying and selling cattle, is going to be inaugurated on Sunday at about 4:00pm to make cattle trading easier for both the sellers and the customers. The trading has already started and cattle markets from districts and upazilas across the country have also joined the platform (www.digitalhaat.gov.bd). This online cattle market is jointly managed by the ICT department, Ekshop-a2i, the Fisheries and Livestock Ministry and e-CAB. The Commerce Ministry, Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Bangladesh Dairy Farmers Association (BDFA) are also helping the initiative. Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim and State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak will be present at the event. Read: Digital Haat and more Qurbani Cow online shops targeting Eid-ul-Azha in Bangladesh
State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak on Tuesday visited the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi and highlighted Bangladesh's success stories in realizing 'Digital Bangladesh' under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He visited various laboratory facilities such as ASSISTECH Lab at the School of Information Technology, Nanoscale Research Facility (NRF), 3D Weaving and Structural Composites on the IIT campus. ASSISTECH is an inter-disciplinary group of faculty, research staff and students who are engaged in using modern technology to find affordable solutions for the visually impaired. Also read: Symphony to lead the way in building 'innovative, smart Bangladesh': Palak The ICT State Minister is visiting New Delhi to attend a few sessions of the seventh edition of the Raisina Dialogue as a panelist, said the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi on Tuesday. State Minister Palak also held meetings with IIT’s Director Prof Dr Ranjan Banerjee, Dean of International Office Prof Naveen Garg and Coordinator of Nanoscale Research Facility (NRF) Prof Neeraj Khare.
Munshi Sohag Hossen, who once peddled a van and worked in a shop to pay for his studies, has now turned into a young IT entrepreneur in Magura. Sohag, a 24-year old youth, still lives with his family at a Gucchagram house in Hazrapur Union under Magura Sadar. He went to India to pursue graduation in IT in Gujarat Technological University getting Indian ICCR scholarship in 2016. After completing graduation in India, he returned home in 2020 with a dream to be self-reliant by working in the IT sector as the digital sector of Bangladesh witnessed an impressive progress in recent years. To meet his dream, he developed a firm named ‘Pollitechs’ in Magura Sadar, which changed his life. While talking to Sohag recently, it was learnt how a permanent house helped his study and the digital revolution made him an IT entrepreneur. His family led a refugee life, losing their home and all assets in river erosion in Noakhali in the early 1980s. Then they shifted to Magura in 1986. His mother Shakhina Begum finally got a house in ‘Gucchagram’ made for homeless families in the 1990s.
The National Data Centre is eyeing to be a huge potential source of earning foreign currency as many foreign firms now show interest in storing their data in the center. The world's 7th largest data centre, set up at Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City in Gazipur, has already started saving the country’s foreign currency in millions of dollars by reducing its foreign dependence on data preservation. Alongside ensuring the security of the country’s data, the tier-IV data center is now saving Tk 353 core annually as Bangladeshi firms don’t need to preserve their data in foreign lands, according to officials of Bangladesh Data Centre Company Limited (BDCCL). Read: All govt data to be stored at Kaliakair Data Centre Besides, the present government set up the Tier-IV National Data Centre on a 7-acre land as part of transforming the country into ‘Digital Bangladesh’ in line with its 2008 electoral manifesto. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the data Centre on November 28, 2019. “Now any organisation of Bangladesh can store their data in the Tier-IV National Data Centre. Even foreign organisations are showing their interest to store their data here in the heart of Digital Bangladesh,” said company secretary of BDCCL, AKM Latiful Kabir. Noting that the world standard data centre has ensured data localization in the country, he said if agreements are signed with the foreign firms, the centre would be a great source of earning foreign currency. Read Top 10 In-demand Tech Skills Freshers Should Learn in 2022 Terming the data centre as the “brain” of Digital Bangladesh, State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak said it is the host of everything, including 55,000 websites, 11 crore National Identity Cards, e-Nothi, Surokkha and registration system. Noting that the G-Cloud based data centre will have unlimited capacity of preserving data, he said, “We hope we could launch the G-Cloud of Oracle technology within the next six or 12 months. And it will be the largest G-Cloud platform in the Southeast Asia.”